My First Checkup
The first checkup will also determine the caregiver and birthplace that you have decided as it is where all your medical records, pregnancy and health history will be kept. Let’s look at some of the check list that can help you prepare for your “First Checkup”.
|1.||Confirm appointment date & time.||Avoid miscommunication and long waiting hours.|
|2.||Search for exact location of the hospital/medical centre.||Avoid stress due to getting lost.|
|3.||Health Insurance Card & documents (if any) OR cash / credit card.||For ease of payment and coordination.|
|4.||Medical history||Inform doctor if you have any medical conditions such as allergy, high blood, diabetes, epilepsy or any condition that might pose a risk to you and your baby. It is also good for you to remember your menstrual cycle (the start and end of your last period).|
|5.||Notes & list of questions you want to ask.||Clear all doubts that you have related to pregnancy issues, health issues, emotional issues and any other matter related to childbirth including costs, emergency plan, etc.|
|6.||Dress appropriately||To avoid inconvenience and easy checkup.|
|7.||Bring hygiene wipes & sanitary napkins.||In case of bleeding, etc.|
Normally on the first checkup, the doctor will perform the following tests:
- Physical Examination: Weight & height; Blood pressure, heart rate, lungs and breast are checked
- Urine test.
- Palpation & blood pressure.
- Internal examination (Pelvic examination). Pap smear is usually conducted to screen for Cervical cancer.
- Ultrasound (more at My First Ultrasound page) to verify due date and check baby’s hearbeat.
- Blood tests.
The doctor will discuss test results with you and advise you on steps to be taken to safeguard your pregnancy and care for both your health and your baby’s health. Always talk to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Types of checkup
There are two types of checkup commonly conducted:
- Internal examination: Insertion of two fingers into your vagina and pressing of the abdomen to palpate your uterus. (Conducted on obese women or when scanning doesn’t provide any result.)
- Ultrasound: Normally conducted when the pregnancy reaches 18 to 20 weeks.
Why are these checkups important?
A checkup is important to determine several key factors in your pregnancy and when you are about to delivery your baby such as:
- Estimation of due date.
- Monitoring of baby’s growth and health.
- Monitoring of mother’s past and present health and condition.
You will be asked about any previous pregnancies, surgeries, medical conditions, current medications and exposure to contagious diseases.
- Recommendation of medication, supplement or changes in diet and lifestyle that safeguard both you and your baby’s health.
- To determine if there’s any life threatening conditions, diseases or other factors that may risk your pregnancy and childbirth.
- Recommendation on how you should delivery your baby (natural or C-Section) and type of medical options available.
- Sometimes a Pap smear is conducted to determine if there are any sexual transmitted diseases (rarely).